SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – While flowers can’t survive in cold weather, that isn’t stopping one member of KELOLAND from helping them, and others, find a reason to bloom.
For the last 10 years, resident at the Good Samaritan Society Joyce Tlustos has been working on her garden. While she grows plenty of colorful flowers, it’s when winter rolls around where she grows crafty.
While most grow restless staying isolated during the pandemic, 87-year-old Joyce Tlustos is growing flowers.
“It’s important physically, and mentally, and spiritually,” Tlustos said.
Every day she walks around 300 steps to her plot at the Good Samaritan Society. It’s where she’s become well-known for her fetching foliage.
“I have said before, people don’t know my face sometimes but they do know my butt because I’m bent over most of the time,” Tlustos said.
She says residents and strangers alike often stop by to admire her hobby.
“I may not know their names but we have had interesting conversations,” Tlustos said.
“We have a beautiful trail, and to be able to stop here we have a bench where people can sit… and enjoy the flowers and they can smell them,” Nearman said.
While we’re in the season where flowers are dying, Tlustos finds new life in her hobby.
“I grow things that I pick and dry for my, quote, art, unquote,” Tlustos said.
“She dries her flowers and puts them into art-form and brings them to the lodge and shares them in the… common areas for other residents to enjoy,” Nearman said.
Even when indoors Nearman says residents often stop by to see what new project Tlustos has created. For those who don’t leave their rooms, Tlustos often takes the extra steps to brighten their day.
“And sometimes pieces that have been around I give them to my friends on ‘permanent loan,'” Tlustos said.
“Hobbies keep people busy. It keeps their mind going. They’re good for their mind, body, and soul,” Nearman said.
Proving that, over time, joy can really grow on you.
“You can’t spell Joyce without ‘Joy,'” Nearman said.
Now that things are cooling down, Joyce will turn most of her attention to making more art projects for the Good Samaritan Society and its residents.